Frameless shower enclosures

The epitome of contemporary shower design, frameless shower enclosures are the ultimate in luxury shower enclosures. Featuring 10mm thick toughened safety glass and high quality components, they are defined by clean lines and general lack of frame work.

Some volume shower manufacturers offer frameless shower ranges, but these products frequently incorporate very slim aluminium channels where the glass meets the wall.  There are, however, a number of smaller specialist companies who offer products that are completely frameless.

A frameless shower enclosure is not normally something which can be purchased ‘off the shelf’. Apart from some standard sized fixed wet room shower screens or walk-in panels, frameless shower enclosures are genuinely bespoke with each product manufactured precisely to the customer’s requirements.  Frameless specialists and some larger manufacturers do offer a full bespoke service comprising detailed measuring, manufacture and installation.

Features

Frameless shower enclosures use high quality brackets and hinges to attach panes of glass to walls and each other. The shower seals used are normally transparent and minimal and frequently incorporate a clear acrylic strip bonded to the floor beneath the door to provide a water dam.  Due to the bespoke nature of the product handle and glass options are numerous.

Handles, door knobs and towel rails are available and glass options may include colours, sand blasting and even fabrics laminated between two sheets of glass.  Anti-lime scale glass protection is often included or may be offered as an optional extra.

A major consideration when planning a frameless shower enclosure is weight.  Each square metre of 10mm thick glass weighs 40kg and the walls and floor construction will need to be capable of supporting this weight. While the floor is not usually a problem, stud wall construction will normally require reinforcement and this should considered at the construction stage of a project.

Frameless shower enclosures are manufactured to fine tolerances and the measurements taken at the planning stage need to be detailed and accurate.  If the measurements are wrong, the shower enclosure may not fit together correctly and it is therefore worth considering the extra cost of a fully bespoke service.  Mistakes can be expensive and the success of a frameless enclosure will depend as much on the quality of correct installation as the accuracy of the measurements taken to manufacture it.  A bespoke service normally takes 2 – 4 weeks from start to finish.

Made to measure shower doors and enclosures are covered in more depth in the Bespoke Showers section of Shower Advisor.

 

 

 


Costs

Frameless shower enclosures are bespoke products and it is difficult to give an accurate indication of cost.  The quality of the components including glass and handle options will impact on price, which will be approximately £1600 for a frameless hinged shower door and side panel suitable for a 900mm square shower tray or wet room space. In addition to the purchase price, a full site survey will cost between £150 and £200 and installation will cost approximately £350 and take about half-a-day.


  • Cutting edge – modern, minimalist design giving the maximum area of glass.
  • Bespoke – made exactly to individual requirements with layouts, finishes and components all customised to suit.
  • Service – measuring, manufacturing and installation services are offered by most companies.
  • Versatility – can often be manufactured to suit applications that are not always achievable with standard products.
  • Cleaning – large expanses of glass are easier to keen clean, especially when coated with anti-lime scale glass treatments.

  • Cost – a high quality made to measure shower enclosure designed to an exact specification or unusual layout can be expensive.
  • Water – the minimal design and use of thin discrete seals can mean that they are not quite as water proof as a fully framed shower.
  • Availability – frameless usually means made to measure and this takes time, generally at least two weeks and often longer.